How Quickly Life Changes
We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4
I grew up in an evangelical Christian tradition, which placed a high emphasis on making a decision to follow Christ. Over the years, I’ve heard many preachers ask, “What if you died tonight? Would you go to Heaven or Hell?” As a child, the question terrified me, but as I entered the invincibility of my teenage years, the question became irrelevant. I know that I’ll die someday, but even at age 47, that still seems like such an intangible concept. As an adult, I’ve not often been swayed by thoughts of life after death.
Then along comes the coronavirus, teaching us that everything can change in a moment. One day, I was planning for our senior’s graduation and upcoming freshman year of college, and the next, all that is looking very different. One day, I was living my normal routine of work, homelife, and addiction ministries, and the next, all that was dramatically altered. The things I once thought would be stable and reliable, have been completely transformed. Life has radically and suddenly changed.
Nothing is guaranteed and time is precious. This seems to be the tone of Jesus’ words in today’s passage, where he insisted that he and his disciples must focus on doing the work that God had set before them while they could. Time was short and if they truly wanted to live in God’s will, they needed to be obedient with the time they had.
We tend to think that we will have time to become who we know we should be. I’ll change my eating habits tomorrow. Someday I’ll get sober. I’ll get around to helping my neighbor when I’m less busy. It’s our nature to think that our time and opportunity are infinite, but the coronavirus has shown us that they are not. Life changes fast, and if we just sit back waiting, we may well miss out on the life God wants for us.
Today though, we have time. Today, we can do. Today, we can choose to be obedient to God’s will, abandoning our way for his. Today, we can take advantage of the opportunities that even the coronavirus has given us to show our neighbors the love and grace that God has shown us. Today, we must live as we were meant to live, for the night is coming.